The Nevada State College (NSC) Merit Pay Policy for Academic Faculty supports the College’s commitment to rewarding excellence. Merit pay is awarded to recognize and retain high performing faculty who make significant contributions to the mission and goals of NSC in the areas of Teaching, Scholarship and Service.
Merit pay is awarded to academic faculty who receive overall rating of at least commendable in Teaching and whose overall performance is predominantly commendable or excellent. Based upon the categories of Teaching, Scholarship, and Service. Faculty members will not be eligible for merit pay if they receive a rating of unsatisfactory in any category, or a rating of satisfactory in two or more categories.
Merit pay is awarded to academic faculty members based on their contributions, accomplishments, and ongoing high levels of performance. The ability to earn merit pay serves as an incentive for faculty to perform well. A fundamental premise of an equitable merit pay system is that it is built upon a sound and valid performance management system; one that is perceived as being fair, equitable, measurable, and objective. In the first year of implementation, changes to a merit pay system and/or performance management system are prospective and developmental.
This policy defines a College-wide framework for merit pay determination, in compliance with Chapter 6, section 9 of the NSC Bylaws.
The policy is pursuant to the preservation of transparency in merit pay award.
Academic Faculty: Defined in Section l .l(a) of the NSHE Code and Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 2(1)(b) of NSHE Board of Regents Handbook, and generally consists of those professional staff members who specifically create and disseminate scholarly information through teaching, or providing counseling or library services closely and directly supportive of teaching and research (Nevada System of Higher Education CODE, Chapter 7, Section 7.2.1.; and Chapter 3, Section 2 (a) and Section 3 (a) of the NSC Bylaws, published in Title 5, Chapter 24 of the NSHE Governing Documents).
Academic Faculty on “A” Contract: Academic faculty on a 12-month appointment.
Academic Faculty on “B” Contract: Academic faculty on a 9-month appointment.
Administrative Faculty: Refers to a subset of the category of administrators defined in Section l.l.b of the Code and Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 2(1)(d) of the NSHE Board of Regents Handbook (Nevada System of Higher Education CODE, Chapter 7, section 7.2.1.; Chapter 3, Section 2 (b) and 3(b) of the NSC Bylaws, published in Title 5, Chapter 24 of the NSHE Governing Documents).
Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA): An across-the-board increase to base pay provided to all current employees regardless of their performance level designed to bring pay in line with increases in the cost of living. The Nevada State legislature may modify or rescind COLA funds at any time before they are distributed.
Eligible Academic Faculty: Academic faculty who have been hired by NSC through a competitive search or have been granted a search waiver. Academic faculty hired in one-year, nonrenewable contracts are excluded. Part-time instructors are excluded.
Executive Staff: NSC President, the president’s direct reports, and deans.
Fiscal Year: Period beginning July 1 of one year and extending through June 30 of the next year.
Merit Pay: Addition to base pay earned by eligible academic faculty got high levels of performance in the categories of Teaching, Scholarship, and Service, as documented in the annual evaluation report. Merit pay must be earned each year.
Merit Pool: Total funds allocated as a designated percentage of NSC’s annual budget; the percentage is determined and funding is appropriated by the state legislature through the budget process. The State Legislature may modify or rescind merit funds at any time before they are distributed.
Faculty Pool: Total number of eligible academic faculty who may be considered for merit pay each year.
Obligation Dates: One full week prior to the commencement of classes and one full week after the conclusion of classes each semester, for faculty members who are on “B” contract.
Part-Time Academic Faculty: “Part-time academic faculty shall be equal to at least .5 FTE” (NSHE CODE,Title 2, Chapter 7, section 7.2.1).
The Merit Pay award was created by the Nevada State Legislature. Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 20, subsection 4 provides that NSHE professional employees shall be eligible to be considered for merit awards during fiscal years when a merit pool appropriation is provided. NSHE institutions are authorized to develop written policies and criteria for merit award recommendation. The award of merit pay is intended to recognize, reward, and reinforce exemplary performance in the categories of Teaching, Scholarship, and Service, which can serve to enhance retention. Merit pay must be earned each year.
Merit pay is awarded to academic faculty who receive an overall rating of at least a commendable rating in Teaching, Scholarship, and Service and whose overall performance is predominantly commendable or excellent. Faculty members will not be eligible for merit pay if they receive a rating of unsatisfactory in any category, or a rating of satisfactory in two or more categories.
Merit pay is added to base pay when calculating the salary for the new fiscal year.
The policy is administered by the Provost’s Office upon recommendations by Department Chairs (as applicable) and Deans. The President makes the final determination of the award and the amount to each eligible faculty member, upon recommendation by the Provost.
To be eligible for inclusion in the Faculty Merit Pool, academic faculty members must have at least one academic year of service or be in their first full academic year of a full-time academic appointment.
Academic faculty who would otherwise be considered eligible for merit will be considered ineligible in the following circumstances:
a. Academic faculty who are not continuing employment at NSC for the next fiscal year;
b. Newly-hired eligible faculty who begin employment at NSC after the commencement of the fall semester (i.e., who do not teach the entire semester).
The Academic Faculty Merit Pay Policy for Academic Faculty does not apply to:
a. Executive Staff;
b. Administrative Faculty;
c. Part-time Instructors;
The Annual Evaluation Report will provide the basis for consideration of the annual merit pay increase. While specific policies may differ by school or department, all Annual Evaluation Reports should provide sufficient information to allow for full and fair evaluation of faculty, pursuant of Chapter 5, Section 7 of NSC bylaws.
Teaching is considered the key criterion for the award of merit pay, and its contribution to the merit determination will have greater weight than the other two areas. To be eligible for inclusion in the faculty merit pool, an eligible academic faculty member must receive at least a commendable rating in Teaching and have overall performance rating of commendable or excellent. Faculty members will not be eligible for merit pay if they receive a rating of unsatisfactory in any category, or a rating of satisfactory in two or more categories.
The Chairs (as applicable), academic Deans, and Library Director will submit to the Provost recommendations of eligible faculty for merit pay consideration. The Annual Evaluation Report shall form the basis of this recommendation. The list of eligible faculty will be accompanied by supporting documentation.
The Provost will review the recommendations and determine the final composition of the Faculty Merit Pool. The final list of Merit Pay awardees and the amounts of Merit Pay increase will be provided in writing to the Deans by the Provost, with an explanation of the components of the merit evaluation.
Since the Annual Evaluation Reports are the basis for merit pay increases, those records are considered confidential and not a matter of public record. Once awarded, the amount of the merit increase is a matter of public record.
Merit pay for academic faculty members will be calculated as follows, for those who are eligible to be considered part of the Faculty Pool:
Merit Pay = Individual’s Final Evaluation Score * Merit Point Value
A. The first step in the calculation of the merit pay is the determination of the composition of the faculty pool. The faculty pool is the total number of eligible academic faculty who may be considered for merit pay each year. Two conditions are necessary:
B. The second step in the determination of merit pay is the calculation of the individual merit rating. Using a 3 point scale, each faculty is assigned a rate for each one of the three qualitative categories of Teaching, Scholarship, and Service of the annual evaluation report, as follows:
Excellent: 3 points
Commendable: 2 points
Satisfactory: 1 point
Eligibility for inclusion in the Faculty pool can be achieved in a variety of ways:
Initial Evaluation Points = Rating in Teaching + Rating in Scholarship + Rating in Service
All possible combinations of eligibility for Faculty Merit Pool based on initial evaluation points:
C. The third step is to recognize excellence in teaching. In support of NSC’ s focus on excellence in teaching, faculty members with a rating of excellent in the category of Teaching on their annual evaluation report, will receive double points (i.e., 6 points) for that sole category. The sum of points in the three categories for each faculty member comprises his/her Final Evaluation Points.
Final Evaluation Points = Rating in Teaching* + Rating in Scholarship + Rating in Service
*Double points if excellent in teaching
The maximum Final Evaluation Points for an eligible faculty member is 12 points, and the minimum is 5. Faculty members who have less than 5 points, less than a commendable rating in teaching, two or more satisfactory ratings, and one or more unsatisfactory ratings will not be included in the Faculty Pool upon which merit increases are determined.
D. The next step is the calculation of Total Evaluation Points, obtained by adding up the individual Final Evaluation Points of all the faculty members in the Faculty Pool.
E. Next is the calculation of the value of one merit point. This is obtained by dividing the Merit Pool by the Total Evaluation Points. Information about the Merit Pool is provided by the Office of the Vice President of Finance and Administration.
Merit Point Value = Merit Pool / Total Evaluation Points
The Merit Point Value reflects the dollar amount of Merit Pay funds allocated to each evaluation point in the Faculty Pool.
F. The last step is the computation of the dollar amount of Merit Pay awarded to each faculty member. This is the product of the Final Evaluation Points and the Merit Point Value.
Merit Pay = Individual’s Final Evaluatin Score * Merit Point Value
An example of the application of this formula is shown below. This example assumes a Merit Pool of $5,000 and 9 faculty members with different ratings submitted to the Provost Office. In this example:
The Faculty Pool would include only 6 of the 9 faculty members and their 45 Final Evaluation Points.
Merit Point Value = $5,000 / 45 = $111.11
Faculty pool 45 = 11 (Faculty A)+ 7 (Faculty B)+ 10 (Faculty C)+ 6 (Faculty E)+ 6 (Faculty F) +5 (Faculty G).
The Merit Increase for each eligible faculty is the product of the Final Evaluation Points and the Merit Point Value.
Merit salary increases will be awarded once annually.
The recommendations regarding faculty eligible for merit salary award consideration shall be made by the Deans to the Provost no later than May 15.
Publication of calculations for merit pay disbursements will be provided to the campus no later than July 1 of each year. Merit points will not be consolidated into smaller categories when determining the amount of merit pay increases.
When an academic faculty member has been awarded merit pay, the faculty member shall be informed about the amount of merit pay increase in writing.
The official date of notification of merit awards for the purpose of review and grievance shall be the later of (a) the first day of the fall semester or (b) the day the merit list is released to the campus. The merit list shall be made available to the public.
Pursuant to Title 2, Chapter 5, Section 5.16 of NSHE Handbook, academic faculty members who are in disagreement with their particular award of merit may seek review in accordance with the procedure adopted in the NSC bylaws.
The Merit Pay evaluation process is a separate process in itself, different from any other evaluation made of faculty. While the Annual Evaluation Report process and the assignment of merit pay are integrated, schools may have separate criteria for their Annual Evaluation Reports.
The receipt of merit pay in one or several years does not guarantee that a faculty member will be promoted and/or tenured. This distinction also makes it possible to reward effort that may be important to a specific school but that, without other equally important contributions, may not justify promotion and tenure.
Any discrepancy between the content of this policy and other related policies and procedures established by the NSC bylaws and Faculty Senate bylaws will be resolved by the Faculty Senate, in accordance with the provisions of the NSHE Handbook.
All possible combinations of ratings of Faculty Performance. Combinations in italics are not eligible for the Faculty pool.
Approved by Provost Lesley DiMare, December 9, 2008.
Approved by President Fred Maryanski, December 9, 2008.